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  • Acknowledging grief and depression

    Posted by luisa-palazola on August 4, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Lately, I have been struggling with a deep depression. In January my Aunt was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and died about three weeks later. This was my first time witnessing someone actively dying and there was something beautiful and spectacular in seeing the life cycle take place in front of me.

    However, since she has passed I’ve found myself in a depression like no other. I think seeing her pass has triggered quite a lot of my own traumas surrounding CF, being sick, and facing my own mortality.

    Growing up, we often talked about being “Fighters because we have no other choice,” but weren’t ever given the option to grieve the loss of basic bodily functions. Part of that is perhaps because I was actively in survival mode. But, there is quite a bit of sadness and grief (alongside anger) that accompanies having been sick that I think deserves more attention. I think this is a natural part of being human.

    What are your thoughts and experiences in processing grief related to CF?

    jenny-livingston replied 1 year, 8 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • tim-blowfield

    August 5, 2022 at 1:35 am

    How normal you are. Well done. Depression is neither an unreasonable nor abnormal part of the human condition. It is a reasonable part of grieving and has been seen as so for thousands of years. Was present as the Hebrew slaves sat on the banks of the river in Babylon so poignantly told in the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves in Verdi’s opera Nebucco, in the Old Testament books of 2 Kings (ch 24) & Chronicles and by the prophets Jeremiah and Ezra. Has been present in defeated persons after wars and other calamities. Is present when hope is lost and a person sees ‘no way out’ or at least no reasonable solution. That it occurs in pwCF should not be unexpected as many see life just too difficult. Encouragement and  the love   of friends family and others go a long way to boost spirits. The development of drugs such as Trikafta gives most hope while some experiencing nasty side effects may experience depression.

  • jenny-livingston

    August 5, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Luisa, we’ve spoken about this a little bit, but I want to again express my condolences and love for you and your family. Your experience with your aunt reminds me so much of my own experience with my grandfather a little over a decade ago. He passed away within a very short time of his cancer diagnosis, and I had the honor of being in the room with him as he took his final breaths. I thought witnessing death would be scary or strange, but I found it to be one of the most profoundly beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. This was the first of many experiences that made me realize that I want to assist in the end of life process (perhaps as a hospice social worker or something similar).

    Regarding CF and grief… whoo boy! There’s a lot to unpack and process there. I’ve experienced varying degrees of grief at different times in my CF journey. Whether related to the loss of a friend/loved one or dealing with my own health, there seems to be an underlying current of grief that sometimes boils over and becomes overwhelming.

    Everything you are experiencing is a normal part of the human experience, and although it can feel terrible, I maintain that these periods of grief and depression add to the nuance and beauty of life. I don’t watch the show, but I’ve seen a quote shared from Wanda Vision that says, “What is grief, if not love persevering?” Regarding the loss of your aunt, I think your grief is a powerful testament to your love for her.

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